The Black Lives Matter Movement, Mental Health, and Psychotherapy


Hoffman, Granger, Vallejos, and Moats (2016) noted that social justice issues often arise when groups, on a collective level, are forced to confront aspects of the givens of existence due to social structures or impositions. These can include threats to one’s self or existence, being cut off from sources of meaning or relationship, or limitations being imposed on one’s political freedom, which necessarily has implications for one’s existential freedom. When the existential nature of social justice issues and the protest movements are better understood, the understanding of these movements deepen while concurrently demonstrating that within existential–humanistic psychology, we should be committed to not only engaging these issues but also recognizing the implications of such movements on mental health.  According to its website, #BlackLivesMatter was founded in 2013 in response to the acquittal of Trayvon Martin’s murderer. Black Lives Matter Global Network Foundation, Inc. is a global organization in the US, UK, and Canada, whose mission is to eradicate white supremacy and build local power to intervene in violence inflicted on Black communities by the state and vigilantes. By combating and countering acts of violence, creating space for Black imagination and innovation, and centering Black joy, we are winning immediate improvements in the lives of People of Color and all marginalized groups.

Martin Luther King, Jr. said that “A riot is the voice of the unheard,” and he was right. There is deep-seated pain and anger in the heart of the Black community as we continue to protest the injustices that have occurred since America’s inception; albeit, Jim Crow, Rodney King to Trayvon Martin, George Floyd and many others. Mental illness tends to be accompanied by emotional and self-identity impairing consequences. This workshop illuminates that deep-seated pain and anger in the heart of the Black community, explore the implications of slavery, structural racism and microagressions on mental health and establishes the benefits of social justice movements such as Black Lives Matter on the psychological wellbeing of Blacks and People of Color. The workshop begins with an examination of social justice and mental health issues related to Black individuals living in the United States with consideration of the Black Lives Matter movement. Next, considerations for mental health are considered before specifically focusing on applications for working with clients in therapy.

We are not able to offer CEs for the archived version of the course. These are for self-directed learning only.



There are no reviews yet.

Be the first to review “The Black Lives Matter Movement, Mental Health, and Psychotherapy”

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *